We just kicked off a new collection of talks in our church called Daddy Issues. In order to embrace our future, we have to deal with our past. There are many facets of God’s character for us to discover, but above all, he wants us to know him as Father. This strikes a chord for many who have been wounded by earthly fathers. This collection is formational, meaning we are guiding people through theological discoveries and taking them deeper in their own faith.
Digging up the past can be challenging work. It’s hard to unpack the hurt we’ve placed neatly in boxes and pushed to the far corners of our minds and hearts. As we go through this collection, we recognize that we’re asking people to do something difficult. We don’t want anyone to do it alone. The church exists to offer hope in the hard things, and it’s essential that we support the journey with meaningful resources and next steps.
The key to providing supplemental resources is found in the collaboration of pastoral and creative teams; pastoral provides the framework for references, exercises, and next steps while creative works to display the content in a digestible and attractive way.
Our hope is that the resources support the collection and the collection supports the resources — it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
1. Reflection Questions
Before people can move on, they need to examine the past. Reflection questions are great evaluation tools that help graze the surface of a topic and prompt people to go deeper. While they might not offer all the solutions, reflection questions can help us discover unaddressed emotions and determine how to move forward to work through them.
While we don't live by our emotions, they are a helpful guide to evaluating our current mental, physical, and spiritual state.
Next, we provided a downloadable genogram for people to fill out. A genogram is an incredible visual resource that can help identify patterns that are repeated throughout generations. Reviewing key events in our family histories can reveal relational patterns and inherited values that keep us from walking freely in our present and embracing our future.
Running in tandem with Daddy Issues is a season of prayer and fasting. In addition to practical resources, we are anchoring to a spiritual resource: prayer. We know we can’t do it alone and that there’s power to be found when we pray in community. Prayer is what opens the door from heaven to earth, drawing us closer to the heart of our Father. We are declaring healing over the past as we sit in his presence.
4. Emotional Map
Before we can process an emotion, we have to be able to name it. Similar to our reflection questions, the emotional map is a helpful tool for people to assess what they are currently feeling. With each emotion that can be selected comes a promise from scripture. We hope that people are encouraged and reminded that healing and peace are found in the presence of God.
Our pastoral team finalizes the resources and passes the information to our creative teams. Our web, design, and communications teams work closely together to design a dynamic landing page that functions similar to an app layout.
For website creation, we really wanted to lean into the app/widget feel for design. Making components feel intuitive and alive as you move through the different resources. The layout prioritizes the messages and being able to receive from those first, then moves into specific resources for the overall collection.
The resources above are included in four key sections to guide someone through the journey:
1. Learn: Houses weekly sermons and application questions.
2. Reflect: A place to pause and take inventory of our current feelings.
3. Work Through: Practical handles to work out what we are learning.
4. Keep Going: Additional resources as we continue discovering areas for growth.
The final component of the Daddy Issues site is a "Share Your Story" form fill. We believe that incredible testimonies of healing will come out of this collection. As we walk through it together, we can be encouraged by the stories of those around us. As people dive in and begin to experience transformation, we wanted to create an opportunity for people to share their stories. Our faith is strengthened as we reflect on God’s faithfulness to us and hear of his faithfulness to others.
Wherever you are, you know the needs of your community the best. We hope you feel encouraged that you can also create supplemental content for your sermon collections. It doesn’t take a world-class web team with the fanciest equipment to let people know they’re not alone — you can look to other organizations and leverage resources that already exist. At the end of the day, it’s about equipping people as they go through the journey.